Pros and Cons of Tonneau Covers – Compare Soft vs hard tonneau covers

Do you have trucks? And you probably have some fundamental questions about tonneau covers. Should you leave your truck’s bed open, cover it securely with a tonneau? First and foremost – what’s pros and cons. Read the review below.

If you have been on the hunt for your first pickup truck, you have probably noticed that there are a lot of accessories that can help your vehicle do more for you. One of the essential accessories for your pickup is the truck bed cover. Truck bed covers not only keep your cargo safe from the weather but theft as well. And the best part about them is that they increase your truck’s fuel economy by decreasing wind drag.

Tonneau Covers

Choosing The Best tonneau cover For Your Needs

You’ve been looking for the best truck bed cover. The best protection you want will depend on how much you spend.

You should also check to see that the cover will fit the make, model, and size of your truck bed. There is a correct way to measure your truck bed to ensure you have the right size.

If budget is no concern or you are looking for something a bit different, you can also check out retractable covers and fiberglass lids. You’ll pay a pretty penny for these types of covers,but they are high-quality products that each offer something unique.

Pros and Cons Tonneau Covers

Pros

When you use a cover on the bed of your truck, you can keep your cargo safe from:

  • Theft
  • Water or any moisture
  • Dirt and other debris
  • Flying out of your truck while driving

Besides protecting the items in your truck, there are a few other advantages of having a truck bed cover.

  • Save’s your money on gas: With a cover over the bed, you get less drag or resistance when driving.  When you have less drag, you use less gas. This means that having a bed cover can get you better gas mileage in your truck, which saves you money in the long run.
  • Keeps Your Truck Looking Nice: A truck’s appearance can also be enhanced by having a tonneau cover. The cover hides any items that you may be carrying around in the bed.

Cons

  • Can Be A Costly Investment

One can of truck bed covers is that they do have a pretty good price tag attached to them. Although you can find some excellent affordable covers most will cost you at least around $200. Some of the higher quality, hard surface covers can require you up to $1000.

  • May Be Difficult To Use With Other Bed Accessories

Another con that you may find is some bed covers don’t work so well with other bed accessories like racks or some toolboxes. You always want to make sure that there will be no conflict with any other accessories you may have on your truck.

You will find that a lot of covers do allow for other accessories like racks or even toolboxes. Just be sure you compare installations of the fixtures and cover to see if there will be a conflict.

Top 5 best tonneau covers

Compare Soft vs hard tonneau covers

Soft Tonneau Cover

soft tonneau cover

  • Soft Roll-Up: These covers provide excellent protection against the elements and keep your gear out of sight. When you need to carry the large cargo, roll the sheet back and secure it in place for full bed access.
  • Soft Folding:The most comfortable tonneau cover design to install, requiring no tools, just hand-tightened clamps.
  • Snap: One of the oldest tonneau cover designs. Affordable, but not ideal for truck owners who will need to open and close the cover frequently.

Hard Tonneau Cover

hard tonneau covers

  • Hard Folding: Combines the smooth operation of a soft folding cover with rigid, durable materials that offer excellent security.
  • Hard Roll-Up: A small but growing category, this design has a low-profile or flush appearance when closed.
  • Retractable: Opens and closes smoothly and provides excellent security for small, expensive items such as tools and sporting gear.
  • Painted: A one-piece design provides the best possible water resistance, and a custom-painted finish makes this cover design a must for the ultimate show truck appearance.
  • Heavy Duty: These covers often feature additional accessories like tie-down cleats, truck racks, and even ATV ramps, making them ideal for contractors and hobbyists alike.

Compare 3 best soft tonneau covers

Preview
Title
HS Power ROLL-UP SOFT TONNEAU COVER 14/15+ CHEVY SILVERADO/GMC SIERRA FLEETSIDE 6.5' BED
Gevog Black Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Cover for 14-18 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, 15-18 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500 HD 6.5 FT (78.8"-78.9") Fleetside Bed Truck Cargo Bed Cover
Prime Choice Auto Parts TC403323 Tri Fold Soft Tonneau Cover
Item Dimensions
79 x 8 x 7 inches
78.7 x 6.7 x 7.1 inches
68.9 x 25.6 x 3.9 inches
Item Weight
1.5 pounds
21.8 pounds
26.6 pounds
Brand
HS Power
Gevog
Prime Choice Auto Parts
Color
Black
Black
Black
Customer Rating
Customer Reviews
8 Reviews
12 Reviews
17 Reviews
Price
$150.00
$155.00
$178.99
Prime
-
-
-
Preview
Title
HS Power ROLL-UP SOFT TONNEAU COVER 14/15+ CHEVY SILVERADO/GMC SIERRA FLEETSIDE 6.5' BED
Item Dimensions
79 x 8 x 7 inches
Item Weight
1.5 pounds
Brand
HS Power
Color
Black
Customer Rating
Customer Reviews
8 Reviews
Price
$150.00
Prime
-
Preview
Title
Gevog Black Soft Roll-Up Tonneau Cover for 14-18 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500, 15-18 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD/3500 HD 6.5 FT (78.8"-78.9") Fleetside Bed Truck Cargo Bed Cover
Item Dimensions
78.7 x 6.7 x 7.1 inches
Item Weight
21.8 pounds
Brand
Gevog
Color
Black
Customer Rating
Customer Reviews
12 Reviews
Price
$155.00
Prime
-
Preview
Title
Prime Choice Auto Parts TC403323 Tri Fold Soft Tonneau Cover
Item Dimensions
68.9 x 25.6 x 3.9 inches
Item Weight
26.6 pounds
Brand
Prime Choice Auto Parts
Color
Black
Customer Rating
Customer Reviews
17 Reviews
Price
$178.99
Prime
-

Compare 3 best hard tonneau covers

Preview
Title
Velocity Concepts Tri-Fold Hard Tonneau Cover Tool Bag 09-16 Dodge Ram 5.7 Ft 68.4" Short Bed Sb
Rough Country - 45214650 - Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover (6.5-foot Bed w/o Cargo Management System) for Chevrolet: 14-18 Silverado 1500 4WD/2WD; GMC: 14-18 Sierra 1500 4WD/2WD
Autobotusa Tri-Fold Hard Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Tool Bag for 1999-2007 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 | 1500 HD | 2500 | 2500 HD | 3500 Fleetside 6.5' ft (78") Short Bed
Item Dimensions
70 x 29 x 6 inches
71 x 32 x 6 inches
Item Weight
4.44 pounds
57 pounds
80 pounds
Brand
Velocity Concepts
Rough Country
Autobotusa
Color
Black
Black
Black
Customer Rating
-
Customer Reviews
2 Reviews
6 Reviews
-
Price
$472.88
$599.95
$477.00
Prime
-
-
-
Preview
Title
Velocity Concepts Tri-Fold Hard Tonneau Cover Tool Bag 09-16 Dodge Ram 5.7 Ft 68.4" Short Bed Sb
Item Dimensions
70 x 29 x 6 inches
Item Weight
4.44 pounds
Brand
Velocity Concepts
Color
Black
Customer Rating
Customer Reviews
2 Reviews
Price
$472.88
Prime
-
Preview
Title
Rough Country - 45214650 - Hard Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover (6.5-foot Bed w/o Cargo Management System) for Chevrolet: 14-18 Silverado 1500 4WD/2WD; GMC: 14-18 Sierra 1500 4WD/2WD
Item Dimensions
Item Weight
57 pounds
Brand
Rough Country
Color
Black
Customer Rating
Customer Reviews
6 Reviews
Price
$599.95
Prime
-
Preview
Title
Autobotusa Tri-Fold Hard Truck Bed Tonneau Cover Tool Bag for 1999-2007 Chevy Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 | 1500 HD | 2500 | 2500 HD | 3500 Fleetside 6.5' ft (78") Short Bed
Item Dimensions
71 x 32 x 6 inches
Item Weight
80 pounds
Brand
Autobotusa
Color
Black
Customer Rating
-
Customer Reviews
-
Price
$477.00
Prime
-

Tonneaus date back to the days of horse-drawn cargo wagons where a tarp, or tarpaulin, was used to protect cargo from dust and weather. Today, there are two main varieties- hard-top and soft-top tonneaus-with each offering unique benefits that make them suited to a variety of different needs. So, which one is better for you? Decide by asking yourself the following questions:

Are looks important to you?

Fiberglass or hard plastic tonneau covers are famous for this very reason. Just put: they look cool. They’re either painted or come paint-ready to match your truck, unlike soft covers which are usually only available in black. Hard bed covers are much sturdier in construction and can be locked, allowing you to secure your cargo when you step away quickly. Hard tonneau covers are also much more substantial than the soft-top variety and often require gas struts to assist in opening and closing, similar to the hood of your vehicle. If you’re building a show truck or don’t haul large loads, a hard-top tonneau makes the perfect finishing touch to your exterior.

Not to be outdone, soft bed covers have come a long way in the past few decades, incorporating technology that allows them to open and close with the push of a button. They’re constructed of materials that provide a smooth, sleek appearance and easily match most truck bed liners.

What are you using your truck bed for?

If you’re hauling fragile cargo or materials that are easily damaged by the elements (drywall, untreated lumber, etc.), a tonneau can provide safety and security for both your materials and tools.

If you haul loads that rarely exceed the truck bed or cart around costly tools from job to job, a hard-top tonneau is a way to go. It provides reliable protection against the weather and would-be thieves by locking your gear out of sight. In this regard, it’s safer than storing things in your cab. If thieves can’t see anything of value, chances are they’ll move on to another vehicle.

But if you’re only hauling gravel, bark or the occasional contents of a friend’s apartment, a soft-top tonneau will work just fine. Soft bed covers provide reliable protection against rain, snow, UV rays and dust, and even come with optional locking devices. They also prevent your cargo from being blown around by the wind. Similar to their hard-top counterparts, soft covers streamline your rig by making it aerodynamically efficient, allowing air to slide off the sheet rather than becoming trapped in the bed and creating drag.

How secure is the tonneau to install and remove?

Most tonneau bed covers are installed through clamp-on hardware, with only a handful of tools required and no drilling-most mount in as little as half an hour. One significant difference for those who routinely haul oversize loads: hard-top tonneau covers can be challenging to remove. Unlike their soft-top cousins, like roll-up tonneau covers, you have to lift a hard-top lid to haul large cargo safely.

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